Simple Vows of Sr. Elizabeth Marie of the Transfiguration

On the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, Sister Elizabeth Marie of the Transfiguration made her Simple Profession and received the black veil of a professed nun.

It was a joyous day for all, and we thank God for the gift of her life and vocation!

Here are just a few photos from the day. You can find more in the gallery on our (brand new!) website.


P.S. Here's a close-up of the cake. The verse is an adapted version of Isaiah 56:7.

In full, it's "I will bring you to my holy mountain and make you joyful in my house of prayer" (only that's a bit lengthy to write in buttercream!).


God bless!

--Sr. Marie Thomas, OP

Queen of Peace Novitiate
Our New Digs

Are you familiar with the École biblique?  Situated just outside the Old City of Jerusalem, it is the oldest biblical and archaeological centre in the Holy Land.  It is also a premier place for scholars to engage at the highest scholarly level in study of the Bible and archaeology, within the geographic and historical context of the Bible.  The École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem is especially noted for its role in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the excavations at Qumran.  And, as a veritable institution of the Dominican Order, it is also a delectable fruit of our life and mission, thanks to the pioneering work of our patient and courageous brother, Marie-Joseph Lagrange, OP.

To learn more about the vital research and many exciting initiatives of the École biblique, both past and present, take a look at

their newly enhanced website

which is available in French, English, Hebrew, and Arabic.  You may be especially keen to peruse

Nouvelles de Jérusalem

, the bilingual French and English newsletter published three times a year, which gives an overview of work in progress in exegesis and archaeology at the École. 

Click here to read the most recent issue.

Last but not least, I encourage you to check out the website of the

Canadian Friends of the École biblique

.  The CFEB is a non-profit, volunteer, Canadian organization that supports various projects at the École, as well as offering academic scholarships to Canadian graduate students and academics to conduct research, give lectures, or serve as visiting professors. 

                                                                   -- Sister Elizabeth Marie

Small and Great things, with great love!
It's officially summer (sort of, kind of, rain notwithstanding) and that means that the glaciers are on full display, the sisters are outside as much as possible, and new projects are happening all over the place.

The novitiate spent a lovely Saturday afternoon learning how to make handmade paper from water, recycled scrap paper and whatever natural materials we could put our hands on.  Much fun was had by all, and the local flora has now taken on a slightly different character ("It's beautiful! It's majestic! ... will it paperify?") and we hope to keep experimenting with cards, books, bookmarks, stationary...

Thanks, Oma!

Despite the late start to summer, the garden is in full spring. While some plants still need a little help from their (stick) friends, the rhubarb is galloping and has been since about mid-May.

Some of the ever-expanding rhubarb found its way into tartlets to celebrate a visit from  Canada's papal nuncio, Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi (the tart on the left is frangipane, decorated with dried fruit "leaves".)

One of the joys of monastic life is that of being assigned to work places and projects one would never have expected. About two months ago, I was assigned to the wood shop, to figure out how to make small pieces to sell in our gift shop (and, now, more frames to make paper with!). After a first month of "safety bootcamp", I still have all my fingers and am ready to go! The first project I've tackled is making small boxes using our bandsaw (also: I've learned how to repair the bandsaw). I love exploring the unique character of each piece of wood—these first two boxes were from scrap ends that were destined for the burn pile. I would have never imagined that there was such life lurking inside those dull, dust-covered blocks.

I found a woodburning pen in a closet, and now some of the boxes with a more "plain" grain are getting an alpine spruce-up (pun intended, but this box isn't spruce, it's cedar).

And now for something completely different: I'd like to introduce you to a brave and noble animal, common to our locale, of which I am particularly fond: 

This fauna is especially beloved this year because they are not in the garden (unlike last year, when they ate multiple basil crops). And yes, the bears are also all over the property, but given that we have at least two mums with multiple cubs hanging out on the south field, this particular photographer is staying very far away. If the bear cubs want to be on the blog, they'll have to start taking selfies.

Until next time (which will attempt to be more often, but if it's sunny out, well...), God bless!

Sr. Marie Thomas